As a cottager, your next few months will likely be spent rushing up north on weekends to enjoy warm weather by the lake. There are a few things that you can do when you open your cottage for the season, to ensure the next few months are spent relaxing and not working around your summer property.
Upon arrival, do a circle check and inspect the power line feeding your cottage. Take note if there are any tree branches that have grown too close to the power line — they could cause a power outage. Hire a qualified contractor to prune trees near your power line. If a wire is down on the ground, stay at least one bus length away and call Hydro One's power emergency line immediately at 1-800-434-1235.
Perform basic maintenance activities around your cottage. Hydro One will disconnect the power supply to your property once a year at no charge so that any maintenance along or near your power line can be performed safely.
The last thing to do before entering the cottage is to check your electricity meter for damage. If there is damage, report it to your local electricity service provider.
If your cottage is in an area that experienced flooding, ensure that there is no water damage to electrical equipment. If damage occurred, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to conduct an evaluation and make any necessary repairs before turning on power at your premise.
Look at your interior wiring, electrical cords and plugs for damage. Arrange for repairs or replacement, if necessary. The start of the cottage season is also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure your fire extinguishers are charged.
Before turning on the power to your cottage, ensure all branch circuits are in the off position. Open the main switch and then energize individual circuits one at a time. Fill your water tank before switching on the power, to avoid damage to your water heater element.
Finally, sign up for Hydro One's new outage alerts. The free service sends registered customers a text or email when the power is out near their property and updates on estimated times of restoration.
Hydro One's Customer Contact Centre is open extended hours on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and recently opened Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Centre is also open 24 hours a day for power outages and other emergencies.